Event Planning: Tips for Throwing the Perfect Trunk Show

I like a good party; but what I love is a good fashion party! Why? Because fashion parties are usually thrown by people who truly understand the meaning of aesthetics, ambiance, and details. Coming from a brand management background, I’ve thrown my fair share of fashion events, trunk shows especially, but in this article I will take you (our Faviana retailers and Brand Ambassadors) on the journey of Trunk Show Planning with some helpful do’s and don’ts I’ve learned along the way.

The HostsCrown Diva Trunk Show

What’s the Point?

This is where it begins, and where it ends. Why are you having a trunk show? You need to clearly define your objective from the start. Oftentimes, stores get lost in the party planning aspect and it becomes more of a spectacle than a shopping event. If you are a multi-brand store, trunk shows are successful when you funnel the attention of your shoppers to focus on one brand or a highly curated selection of items for a designated amount of time. Research shows that if you provide your audience with fewer options and a clearly outlined call to action and timeline, conversion rates of purchases are higher. Higher because you you created the story, communicated the story in a clear, simple, and direct way, which limits the guesswork for the shoppers, allowing them to be active participants in your story so their experience in your store makes sense to them. No shopper wants to feel overwhelmed by too many options or be confused as to why they are there.
Follow these tips below for a successful Faviana Trunk Show:

  • Designate an area of your store specifically for Faviana stock and include the gorgeous Faviana posters that were shipped to your store.
  • Set up the Faviana vertical banner(s) in the entrance of your store. If you have more than one, set up a vertical banner at all the major touch points: i.e. entrance, display, dressing rooms, check out.
  • Play the Faviana DVD that was sent to you to set to tone for the event.
  • Create a Faviana window display with the top dresses you would like to funnel your audience to buy. If you need more samples to make this happen, let us know.
  • Assign a salesperson as a Faviana specialist to encourage and educate staff about the promotion and Faviana top sellers.
  • Ask your sales staff to wear their Faviana T-shirts.
  • Promote our Gift with Purchase Program on your social media and website using the marketing material provided.
  • Collaborate with your Faviana brand Ambassador to be your hostess.
  • Use our Content Marketing Packs for one week leading up to the event to leave event hints.
  • Be sure to clearly state the date, day and length of time of the event and what your unique call to action is.

Guest List

Guest List

Your guest list should be three-fold: loyal patrons, shoppers, and press– but not in equal ratios.  You want about 15% of your guest list to be loyal patrons.  This includes, your friends and family, business partners or industry professionals you’ve worked with in the past.  These are the people who show up first, get the energy going, and set the tone for the rest of your guests at the event.  It is also very helpful to have a couple of these people handy in case you need to ask for a helping hand i.e. please carry that ice bucket.  35% of your audience should be press.  Always start by inviting your local bloggers.  Having 7-10 top notch local bloggers can be a win-win effort for everyone involved.  Influencer marketing is crucial in today’s world, but it is even better to meet and get to know your local bloggers in person; you probably have more in common with them then you may think and you might just make a new friend or brainstorm more creative ways to partner together. Your local bloggers have eyes and ears on your city; they understand the pulse of your shoppers, so it is great to build relationships with them.  If they indeed had a great time, they will post for you on social media while at the event, and if they really like you, will even post about your event afterwards and let’s face it, those links are invaluable! Bonus point– they take award winning photos to boot and can be great content marketing for you afterwards.  If you live in a city large enough for print press and other larger, or national outlets, always invite them as well.  You never know who may show up.  Sometimes offering a car service to pick them up and drop them off can seal the deal to get them there.  Last and most importantly is getting 50% of your guest list to be shoppers…for obvious reasons.  Keep in mind that you may need to invite 2-4x the amount of people you actually want to show up.  For example, if your goal is to get 10 bloggers to attend, then you should invite between 30-50 bloggers, where you will have about half RSVP, and then about 10 will actually attend.

The AmbienceCrown Diva Trunk Show

Production Schedule

Save the Date:  Send out the Save the Date email reminder 4 weeks in advance.  This should also give them a little tease as to what is to come.

Invites:  By the time your invite goes out (10 days in advance), you should have chosen your designated event hashtag to share as well.  Send out email invites, track who opens, and follow up with those who didn’t open up to two additional times.  Send one reminder email the day before the event as well.  Utilize social media to help promote the event.  Sometimes sending paper invitations to editors or bloggers is a nice added touch and tends to get their attention.

Call to Action:  Are you offering 10% off? Are you providing a gift with purchase?  Is there a door prize?  What can you offer your shoppers to make their purchase more meaningful?

Activities:  What are they going to do while they are there?  Are you going to bring in a beauty bar?  A nail bar? A photo-booth?  Put on a fashion show?  A DJ? Red carpet with a step and repeat? There must be at least one alternative activity to provide your guests with other than shopping.  Be creative with this.

Ambiance:  Music, scent, and lighting is key.  Also the flow of traffic and your floor plan is equally important.  Start by deciding what you want the focal point to be.  Where do you want to direct the most traffic– put the bar there because that is where most people congregate to.

Gift Bags:  Every guest should leave with a little bit of the party.  Including Faviana brochures in your swag bags is a great touch because if they didn’t make a purchase that day, they can think about making a purchase later on and they are left with a visual reminder of that.

The Dream TeamCrown Diva Trunk Show

Putting the Band Together

  1. Lead Singer aka the Greeter:  Person who stands by the door, welcomes people, tells them where to go, and reiterates why they are there.  This should also be the person who is the point of contact for the press when they arrive.
  2. Coat Checker: Takes the guests coats.  Makes guest feel comfortable for leaving their coat with a stranger.
  3. Drummer aka the Director: Someone to be responsible for directing traffic, making announcements throughout the event, and keeping everyone on track.  They must keep the beat of the event going. This person tells the photographer who to take photos of and delegates when they see things needs to be refilled etc.  Think of this person as the director of the movie.
  4. Bartender: Duh.  This person needs to have a fun and engaging personality.
  5. Seller:  You can have a team of sellers, but the point is, you need key people at the event focused on the product, the objective of why you are there, and be able to tend to customers needs.
  6. The Runner:  The person who runs to CVS to buy more cups, takes out the over flowing trash, helps your special friend get the wine stain out of her skirt, makes sure the playlist is set on a loop etc.

The GoodiesCrown Diva Trunk Show

Details, Details, Details

I will say that one of the biggest things that is overlooked is the planning of the details that seem irrelevant i.e. toilet paper, garbage cans, ice, etc.  Trust me on this one, I’ve learned the hard way so let me share a few tips to make it easier for you. Below are the top 10 easily missed details that you should actually plan first:

  1. Toilet Paper & Bathroom Attendant– no need for me to elaborate here.
  2. Garbage Cans and Garbage Bags
  3. Coat Check: hangers, rack & someone to assist
  4. Paper towels!  I guarantee there will be a spill.
  5. Napkins, plates, toothpicks, extra cups/glasses.  I ran out of cups once and had to send the DJ’s assistant to a CVS in the middle of the event to purchase cups.  Guests were NOT happy to wait.  I suggest you have a backup stash before you even begin.
  6. Shout stain remover stick– for girls with too much makeup on their faces trying on everything in the store.
  7. Cold things need to be cold!  That takes time!  Beverages go in the refrigerator hours before your event.  Set an alarm on your phone to remind you.
  8. Always have a bottled water option.
  9. Ice | Ice Bucket | Ice Scooper…and place to keep the ice (freezer or cooler).
  10. Your designated hashtag printed and framed.

For The RecordCrown Diva Trunk Show

Follow up & Photos  

Remember, digital drives our lives now. If you don’t have photos to prove you had an event, you didn’t have an event. If you don’t have a party photographer, designate one of your team members to be on photo duty. It is a really nice touch to email key players who showed up after the event, attach a photo of them from the event and add a nice thank you message. Everyone loves a photo of themselves! They will most likely repost the photo and talk about your event, as well as think highly of you for remembering them. It is also a great way to remind them to use your designated hashtag too.

We would love to see your photo’s from your Faviana Trunk Show.  Follow and tag us on Instagram at @Faviana_NY and Twitter at @FavianaNY.


Devin VanderMaas

Faviana, Director of Marketing

Devin VanderMaas

Devin is the Director of Marketing at Faviana. Follow her journey behind the scenes on her Instagram @DevinVanderMaas.

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